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Santos Cumplido, Francisco Javier
Liñán Alcalde, Francisco
42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
Since the process of globalization increased its importance during the nineties, the entrepreneur's role in regional economic development is considered essential. This economic agents, besides their financial and entrepreneurial functions, carry out a 'booster' function that is manifested in the adoption of a series of strategic decisions (new investment projects, innovation in new products and processes, technological and marketing cooperation ...). The quality in the performance of these booster tasks, which depends basically on the psychological and sociological characteristics of entrepreneurs, is essential to increase the competitiveness of the regional economy and, through it, the employment and well-being levels. Local development policies have been implementing since the early eighties a wide variety of measures to promote entrepreneurship, without sufficiently favourable results. Those measures have tended to address the entrepreneur's financial and managerial functions, and not the booster one, which is where the entrepreneurial spirit lies. In this sense, the authorities -if they are to improve that entrepreneurial spirit with measures that raise the quality of the booster function- should previously have an appropriate diagnosis on the qualities of entrepreneurs in the area. The main objective of this paper is to elaborate an empiric methodology that allows measuring the quality of the entrepreneur's booster function. That is to say, it tries to establish the stages and instruments that are critical to globally value the qualities of entrepreneurs in a given region. Among the instruments, it is essential the elaboration of an index of entrepreneurial quality starting from partial indicators of several qualities. And among the stages, it is highlighted the possibility to establish an entrepreneurial typology with respect to quality levels, and a profile of each type of entrepreneur. As an example, this methodology is applied to determine the quality level of Sevillian (southern Spain) entrepreneurs, thus showing its validity
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